I'm in search of insight. So I'm listening, or trying to listen to, 500 voices between May and November of this year. Out of this schizophrenic experience I should have a coherent inspired vision of congregational education in New York, and the strategy to achieve it. No small order so I might as well as listen.
Next conversation (I've heard from about 60 so far) is with the management team at the Jewish Education Project. Right now structurally we are a very segmented group: Heads of day school (2); Early childhood (1); Teen (1) and Executive management (5).
That segmentation is a nut we haven't cracked. It makes sense on many levels to divide departments by population and locale. Early childhood is just a different entity than teens, and yet..we find ourselves bumping up against one another in the same institution with different initiatives. Or we find one department pursuing a strategy that could be helpful to another without coordination.
The esprit d'corps among the departments has actually grown remarkably. Despite strained schedules, and different work processes, the Jewish Education Project has, for me, become a place of open office doors where my dilemma always has a partner. Since I unashamedly say "i have half a brain," so I"m always looking for the next half and on most days find it on the floor Right now the spirit is more conducive to collaboration than the structure.
So if, and we do, want to do better, what's next for congregations and for how we as departments work.
Here is a draft agenda for the conversation we'll have in July. Please suggest how better to shape the conversation.
1. Inform from your unique vantage point, the newly emerging vision and strategy for Congregational Education
2. Begin to identify what implications that has for how we work in a more 3C way (co-ordinated, collaborate, communicative)
Core Discussion ONE our individual visions:
1. Please come prepared to give your on one foot vision for learning in the population you work with (not necessarily in congregations)
2. We’ll reflect on one anothers:
1. What do I want to know more about
2. What do I want to add to my own vision
3. Have you considered...
Core Discussion Two: Trends: Emerging and Pressing What’s challenging and affirming our individual visions
From your work with congregations/days schools
1. What trends are you seeing emerge in the way they work; what their goals are; their successes; challenges
2. What trends are you seeing that are impacting congreagations/schools in families, in society, in technology…etc
Core Discussion Three: Edge of Possibility
Inspiring, based on reality and trending trends
Big Ideas for direction
1. What big ideas for vision should we headline
2. What are the implications for how we work as departments